The year is 1909. Kandinsky had already studied economics and law at the University of Moscow. He had already declined a professorship of Roman Law at the University of Dorpat (now University of Tarfu) in Estonia. He had already moved to Münich at age 30 to enroll in Academy of Fine Arts. 

Kandinsky despaired the materialism of the new Industrial Age. The mechanization of Europe was surely a sign of a looming Apocalypse.

To return to his rider (of my previous post) symbolizing a more spiritual future, I’m looking at yon distant blue mountain. The riders in the foreground are kin to St. John’s four horsemen in the Book of Revelation.

I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest …

Der Blaue Berg (The Blue Mountain) Wassily Kandinsky 1909

Der Blaue Berg (The Blue Mountain) Wassily Kandinsky 1909

Again back to my previous post where Kandinsky was a composer of color theory. He will ride on to include this theory in his 1911 manifesto Concerning the Spiritual in Art. But we’re not there yet because the year is still 1909.

And me, cloud-gazing at trees, see faces. Yellow-orange is frightened by what violet-red foretells. Beneath, three riders on white horses charge into the beyond. The lead horse has a yellowish tinge, which can be disturbing for people, as Kandinsky soon will write. The fiery red of Revelation 6:4 drapes the horses and the sky they ride toward with no sword or bow in hand.

The sound of a cello. Darker blue, a ‘typical heavenly color’ is supernatural and peaceful. The mountain rests behind the scene before it. 


… and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.

Kandinsky may not include the rider on a black horse because for him there will be no famine in his future — the soul is enriched through the transformative powers of art.